The George Washington Bridge, over the Hudson River and dividing New York and New Jersey, is likely the heaviest and busiest of suspension bridges. Crossing the Hudson River at 178th Street, it is designed to carry huge loads. Twenty thousand tons of riveted steel for each tower was erected by massive derricks. Sixteen columns of steel 635 feet above water, as high as the Washington Monument, were put up.
The steelwork was planned early as a skeleton, and was to be covered
by concrete and granite. However, as the steel skeleton rose, story by
story, the unexpected attractiveness of the exposed steelwork fascinated
virtually everyone who witnessed it. Consequently, massive appeals
arose to "forget the masonry" that had been planned for the towers. Each
of the four cables holding up the deck is a yard in diameter and a mile
long. The 100,000 miles of wire could encircle the globe four times.
Construction began in 1927 and continued for the next 4 years. Provision
was made for an additional (lower) deck, which has since been added.
The bridge opened to traffic in 1931. Of course it honors the name of
the great General who managed to form the thirteen original colonies
into one United States.
Stamp Issue: 1952